A Summary Of Respiration According To Boyle's Law

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The process of respiration occurs according to Boyle’s law. Boyle’s law states that for a fixed mass of gas at a constant temperature, the volume is inversely proportional to pressure. This means that as volume increases pressure decreases and vice versa. During inhalation the intercostal muscles and diaphragm contract resulting in an increase in the volume of the lungs and hence the thoracic cavity. As the volume increases, pressure decreases creating an area of sub atmospheric pressure within the lungs. Due to the pressure gradient created, air is able to rush into the lungs from higher pressure outside the body to the lower pressure inside the lungs. Air continues to flow into the lungs until pressure is in equilibrium. Due to the increased…show more content…
The process of ventilation provides air into the alveoli of the lungs. This is where gas exchange occurs. Gases diffuse across the membrane between the alveoli and the capillaries into the bloodstream according to Fick’s law: the rate of diffusion of a gas tissue is proportional to the tissue area, difference in partial pressure and is inversely proportional to the thickness , i.e. oxygen passes into the blood from alveoli and carbon dioxide exits the blood into the alveoli. The atmosphere consists of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide as well as other gases. Partial pressure is the pressure of a single type of gas in a mixture of gases. As a general rule a gas will move from an area where its partial pressure is higher to an area where its partial pressure is…show more content…
This carbonic acid is highly reactive and dissociates into H+ ions and HCO3− ions. This reaction is continuous and fast allowing for a constant flow of carbon dioxide from tissues to the bloodstream. The free H+ ions bind to haemoglobin and the HCO3- binds to the RBC’s via the chloride shift process. When the blood reaches the lungs the process is reversed and the HCO3- ion is released from the red blood cells and the H+ ion is also released from the haemoglobin. These two free ions bind together forming a carbonic acid intermediate that reacts further with carbonic anhydrase converting it back into a gas.
Ventilation is controlled by respiratory centres in the brainstem. Ventilation is modified in response to inputs from sensory afferents in order to maintain homeostasis of partial pressures and pH of the blood. There are multiple types of sensory afferents related to ventilation: central and peripheral chemoreceptors, pulmonary stretch receptors, irritant receptors and proprioceptors. These sensory afferents send impulses to two anatomical regions within the central nervous system; the pontine respiratory centre and the medullary respiratory
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